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Your Mixed Trains

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Your Mixed Trains
Posted by markpierce on Sunday, December 14, 2008 3:30 PM

Has everybody read Andy Sperandeo's article on page 144 of January's Model Railroader on running mixed trains?  It reminded me of my favorite mixed train, the Mina Mixed (or Local) on the Southern Pacific Railroad, train numbers 605 and 606.

The train was a bit unusual in that it carried a Railway Post Office.  Typical passenger-car complement was two cars: a baggage-express-mail car and a chair car.  The train left Sparks, Nevada in the evening and arrived in Mina in the morning, and then returned to Sparks in the late afternoon.  It ran on the SP mainline between Reno and Hazen, making an average of 30+ m.p.h., and then on the branchline between Hazen to Mina at an average overall speed of about 20 m.p.h.  I believe it ran until the early 1950s (the year of 1953 is in my head).  A one-way trip would take about eight hours.  The train is pictured on pages 268 through 273 in John Signor's book Southern Pacific's Salt Lake Division.

So, what is your favorite mixed train, and do you model any?

Mark

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Posted by blownout cylinder on Sunday, December 14, 2008 3:38 PM

Because my shortline is 'mostly' freelance I do run mixed--twice daily. I have a single GP9(bought recently at a basement sale) haul a combine with mail, two LCL box cars and an extra coach if needed--we still use cabeese here.

Any argument carried far enough will end up in Semantics--Hartz's law of rhetoric Emerald. Leemer and Southern The route of the Sceptre Express Barry

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Posted by twhite on Sunday, December 14, 2008 4:20 PM

Unfortunately, my Yuba River Sub doesn't have a branch-line (though I'd sure like to knock out a wall and put one in, LOL!), so the closest I have is a local, the 'Yuba River Express' which is usually my Pacific or my Ten-Wheeler, an express car (for Kokonie Salmon in season), baggage-mail and a couple of coaches.  It's kinda/sorta based on the old WP "Feather River Express", and like that train is ANYTHING but an express--it stops at fishing holes along the river.  I've often thought of adding a couple of freight cars for set-outs along the line. 

I remember photos of that Mina mixed train.  I think one shows it being pulled by one of SP's older AC-2 'flat-face' 2-8-8-2's.  That train had a LOT of character!   I always enjoyed the Mina Branch, I'd parallel it when I'd come up US 95 to Fort Churchill when I was in the Air Force in Texas.  I understand that the rails have been torn up below Hawthorne, now.

Tom Smile

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Posted by jecorbett on Sunday, December 14, 2008 4:30 PM

My layout is freelanced. I have a branchline planned that will interchange with my mainline and it will have a mixed train. The branch will serve two towns and a number of industries. The terminus of the branchline will be a summer resort area that will require passenger service. Among the industries planned are a winery, a cannery, and a creamery, a sawmill, and a firearms factory. I might try to squeeze in one or two. Hopefully, I can complete my mainline scenery this year which will allow me to begin construction of the branch line next year.

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Posted by markpierce on Sunday, December 14, 2008 4:49 PM

twhite

  I always enjoyed the Mina Branch, I'd parallel it when I'd come up US 95 to Fort Churchill when I was in the Air Force in Texas.  I understand that the rails have been torn up below Hawthorne, now.

Yeah, I drove along it some eight or ten years ago and the track (rail and ties) had been pulled.  The former Mina yard was a bare expanse.  The freight depot was still standing, barely.

You're right about the cab-forward photo.  There is one in Signor's book, as well as a train headed by a Ten-wheeler, and my favorite photo, pulled by a Mikado (a close-up, whole-train view with snow-covered mountains in the background, while the cab-forward was taken at some distance to show the entire train which was much longer but did include two military vehicles on a flat car.)  (Whew, that last sentence is too long.)

Mark

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Posted by markpierce on Sunday, December 14, 2008 4:59 PM

jecorbett

 The terminus of the branchline will be a summer resort area that will require passenger service.

While a mixed train might be adequate during the "off season," I'd hope that a dedicated passenger train would be needed during the height of the tourist season. Thumbs Up

SoapBox On the layout I'm planning, the branchline trains run on the mainline before going on the branch.  That was quite common for the prototype.  For the modeler, it gives the branchline trains a longer run and reduces the need for extensive facilities at the branchline/mainline junction.  The saved space can be used for other purposes (more industry, more scenery, etc.)

Mark

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Posted by blownout cylinder on Sunday, December 14, 2008 5:14 PM

Mark; I'm with you on that because on my system --- along two walls in basement to join into a center peninsula leaving 35" ailes between-- I fashioned this like two branchlines going into a wye then onto a 'mainline' that eventually interchanges with BNSF--with any luck at all.

The period I'm modeling 70's/80's supposedly didn't have too many mixed trains but there were a few around. I even can use tourism as a means to justify mixed or better yet our 'customers' never gave up on trains because they were smarter...heeheeheeMischiefWhistling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any argument carried far enough will end up in Semantics--Hartz's law of rhetoric Emerald. Leemer and Southern The route of the Sceptre Express Barry

I just started my blog site...more stuff to come...

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Posted by twhite on Sunday, December 14, 2008 6:40 PM

Mark--

I remember when I was stationed in Amarillo Texas in the Air Force, the Santa Fe had a branch line that connected with their mainline through Amarillo coming in from the north, and there was a daily mixed train that came through down from somewhere in Kansas (or maybe Colorado) that was usually powered by a PA set, along with about thirty freight cars, a standard baggage and a couple of streamlined coaches at the end.  It was the most unusual 'mixed' train I'd ever seen.   Santa Fe also ran a daily mixed from Amarillo southwest along a rather busy branch to Lubbock.  This was back in the early 'sixties when Santa Fe was still promoting both local and transcontinental passenger service. One thing about the Amarillo-Lubbock train, the passenger cars were ALWAYS ahead of the cattle cars, LOL!  It made for some interesting train-watching.  

Tom

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Monday, December 15, 2008 10:00 PM

twhite
the Santa Fe had a branch line that connected with their mainline through Amarillo coming in from the north, and there was a daily mixed train that came through down from somewhere in Kansas (or maybe Colorado)

That was probably been train #37-38  La Junta-Amarillo daily mixed.   However I am surprised by the PAs on the point and the standard baggage and coaches.  In the few pictures that I have it had F units on the point and a cabbage.

I can't find any Amarillo-Lubbock trains listed.   I've got Lubbock-Crosbyton #89-90, Lubbock-Bledsoe #79-80, and Lubbock-Seagraves #77-78.   I'm not good on geography in that part of the country.  Is Amarillo between any of those two points?

 

markpierce
So, what is your favorite mixed train, and do you model any?
My train would be Santa Fe #67-68 from Wichita to Pratt KS.  Consist normally had a cement hopper, a refer car, and cabbage #2410.  Pulled by a GP7.   I definitely have a model.  I kitbashed the cabbage.  Unfortunately I don't have any photos.

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Posted by twhite on Monday, December 15, 2008 11:35 PM

Texas--

Frankly, it's been so long ago (early 1960's), I'd have to check an Amarillo-Lubbock map.  I know there were a couple of smaller towns between the two cities, but as to their names, I'd be totally lost.  I think it's about 140 miles or so between the two cities, as I remember. 

PS:  What's a 'Cabbage?'  I'm not familiar with the term. 

Tom Smile

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 1:39 AM

The present-day, "Cabbage," is a carbody diesel (gutted F7 or similar) with concrete ballast in the fuel tank and the prime mover replaced by a baggage room.  The controls in the cab can control the loco at the other end of the train during the, "Push," phase of push-pull operation.  Seems the FRA thinks every passenger train should be fronted by a big, heavy battering ram...

As for mixed trains, three scheduled trains each way on the Tomikawa Tani Tetsudo consist of a locomotive and a single coach, and can be filled to tonnage with any non-placarded goods wagons that can't wait for the daily mixed freight.  If the company business car has to be moved, the freight gets left for the next run.

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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Posted by Dean-58 on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 8:29 AM

???????????

I'm confused!  Until I saw this thread, I always understood that a "mixed" train had a consist of mostly freight but had a passenger coach or combine tacked on the end where the caboose should be.  This provided passenger service on branch lines where it wouldn't be profitable to run a regular passenger train.  Several railroads, the Burlington Route in particular, rebuilt combines, sometimes with a cupola for the trainmen to keep an eye on the train.  The D&RGW narrow gauge lines (and possibly other NG lines) added end ladders and roof walks to coaches and combines for mixed service.

I'm a little dull from the turmoil in my life (losing my housing subsidy---and the prospect of losing my model RR stuff in the downsizing!), so I don't recall the article, even though I read it.  Maybe he meant mixing heavyweight and lightweight/streamlined equipment, but that doesn't really make it a "mixed train."  Or am I wrong?

Dean "Model Railroading is FUN!"
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Posted by tomikawaTT on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 8:47 AM

Howdy, Dean.

"Mixed," in this consist, is a scheduled passenger run that has a freight car or two (or as many as need to be moved) in the consist.

I remember waiting on a platform in Fukuoka-ken for a scheduled train which was usually a pair of DMU.  When it arrived, it proved to be a C11 class 2-6-4T and two elderly (read filthy) coaches, with a goods box and an empty drop-side hopper between.

That particular branch didn't move enough freight to justify a separate freight train, even though it had a few producing coal mines (mom and pop size) on the route.  The empty gon was scheduled to be loaded with coal, and the box was loaded with LCL for the end-of-the-line freight house.

That is what I am modeling.

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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Posted by Sperandeo on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 8:53 AM
If you want to run a mixed train in the 1970s or 80s, there are a couple of prototype examples. The Georgia RR operated one until 1983. It carried a lightweight Budd coach in addition to its caboose. The Soo Line had a Wisconsin branchline local that was officially a mixed train until about 1980, although it carried no passenger equipment. Anyone who insisted on riding, and it took some determination, was carried in the caboose. Thanks to all those who found my column on mixed trains interesting or useful. Merry Christmas, Andy

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:27 AM

My favorite mix train was and remains N&W's Abingdon Mixed train..AKA  The Virginia Creeper..

Larry

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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:48 PM

The CB&Q operated many branch lines and mix train were a way of life for a large number of them. Locomotives at the end of WWII, were small steam locomotives, and a 4-6-0 with small drivers was a common type. By the 1950's steam was on the way out, and an assortment of locomotives were used. Examples are the GE 44 ton engine, EMD SW-1, EMD SW-7, and EMD GP-7. That is not a an all inclusive list. Passengers would be hauled in a combine passenger car modified for branch line service with stoves for heat. Some of those cars were were former motor cars (gas electric doodlebugs) with engines removed. Also, at least one of the old wooden, side door  cabooses had benches installed for passengers.

Here are examples of my mix trains for my branch lines. I would encourage people to include branch lines on their layoutrs because they are fun to operate.

 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 3:43 PM

twhite
What's a 'Cabbage?'  I'm not familiar with the term.

Santa Fe had a fleet of combine cars that served as Coach, Caboose, and Baggage.  They also included drover's caboose into this category.   Most of the modern (into the 1960s) ones were built from old heavy weight smoking parlor cars.  They carried branch-line caboose oxide red rather than the normal olivish green of other Santa Fe heavy weight equipment.

There is a great book on the subject - click here 

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 3:46 PM

Heartland Division CB&Q
The CB&Q operated many branch lines and mix train were a way of life for a large number of them. Locomotives at the end of WWII, were small steam locomotives, and a 4-6-0 with small drivers was a common type. By the 1950's steam was on the way out, and an assortment of locomotives were used. Examples are the GE 44 ton engine, EMD SW-1, EMD SW-7, and EMD GP-7. That is not a an all inclusive list. Passengers would be hauled in a combine passenger car modified for branch line service with stoves for heat. Some of those cars were were former motor cars (gas electric doodlebugs) with engines removed. Also, at least one of the old wooden, side door  cabooses had benches installed for passengers.

Yes, I have several pictures of the Q's mixed trains.  I think they take the award for the most unlikely, bizarre, and ugly combinations.

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Posted by Mill Bay on Monday, November 16, 2009 1:24 PM

Another oft forgotten railway notable for it's mixed trains was the Newfoundland Railway in Canada, which operated mixed trains on it's branchlines and even on the mainline up until the mid-1980s.

http://railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=219748&nseq=6 

http://railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=129076&nseq=19

http://railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=129075&nseq=20

http://railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=129074&nseq=21

There was also an article on the Newfoundland Railway in an issue of Classic Trains. I can't quite remember just which issue right now, though.

 

Sperandeo
If you want to run a mixed train in the 1970s or 80s, there are a couple of prototype examples. The Georgia RR operated one until 1983. It carried a lightweight Budd coach in addition to its caboose. The Soo Line had a Wisconsin branchline local that was officially a mixed train until about 1980, although it carried no passenger equipment. Anyone who insisted on riding, and it took some determination, was carried in the caboose. Thanks to all those who found my column on mixed trains interesting or useful. Merry Christmas, Andy

 

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Posted by jecorbett on Monday, November 16, 2009 1:38 PM

Right now, it's only on the drawing board but I plan a branch line addition to my double track freelanced railroad and mixed trains will be featured on the branch. One mixed train will be a combination milk/commuter train which will connect with mainline trains at the junction. The other will be a peddler freight that will interchange with the mainline weigh freight at mid-day and will carry a combine to handle the few passengers that will be traveling at that time of day. My branch line is long by model railroad standards but will serve just two towns, each having several industries. I anticipate, it will be among the most interesting features on the layout when completed as the mainline will have a lot of trains which simply pass through the layout.

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Posted by markpierce on Monday, November 16, 2009 1:48 PM

markpierce

Has everybody read Andy Sperandeo's article on page 144 of January's Model Railroader on running mixed trains?  It reminded me of my favorite mixed train, the Mina Mixed (or Local) on the Southern Pacific Railroad, train numbers 605 and 606. ...

The Mina Mixed:

 

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Posted by carknocker1 on Monday, November 16, 2009 2:00 PM

I don't currently model a mixed train , but on my past layout I modeled the LNAC in southern Indiana , back the early 1950's when there was 2 daily mixed train that met the Southern RWY east bound and West bound Louisville to St. Louis Trains mostly for the Mail , I had a wooden combine that brought the rear , which the real railroad did until it burned down , then passenger service was handled in a modified wood caboose which I also modeled .

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Monday, November 16, 2009 2:51 PM

BRAKIE
My favorite mix train was and remains N&W's Abingdon Mixed train..AKA  The Virginia Creeper..

I had a photograph (O.Winston Link) of that on a calendar a few years ago.  Photo was taken from a bridge as the train passed under.  It was foggy with the baggage and coach on the end directly under the camera.  A few box cars and a flat up toward the locmotive (steam of course) which was furtherst up the valley away from the camera.  I could look at that photo for hours wondering who was on the train going where and what the cargo in the box cars was.    Really tempted me to start modeling N&W.   I went to visit that part of the country a few years ago.   I was very bumed out to see the Abingdon branch converted to a bike path and Coalwood (from the book Coalwood way and movie October Sky) is now nothing.  Unfortunately the O.Winston Link museum was closed the day I happened through town.

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Posted by PASMITH on Monday, November 16, 2009 10:34 PM
The California & Northeastern ( An SP sub) ran a mixed train daily on their Klamath Falls branch between Weed and Grass Lake CA in 1906 shortly after they purchased the trackage and two locomotives from the Weed Lumber Company. ( "Southern Pacific's Shasta Division", John R. Signor, page 125) Later this trackage was extended on to Klamath Falls OR and so was the mixed train along with logging extras pulled by SP TW class 4-8-0's. Eventually, the tracks were extended on to Eugene and became the SP Cascade Line. ( The only line of 10 railroad lines in the area that Bruce Chubb did not incorporate in his latest layout) Attached is a photo of my C & NE bashed 4-4-0 No 1 ( Ex Weed No 1) pulling the only SP coach ever lettered C & NE by the SP just south of Grass Lake MP 371. It almost certainly was run on the daily mixed train from Weed to Grass Lake in 1906. Note: This is a fictitious flag stop at my freelanced timber company. Peter Smith, Memphis
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Posted by markpierce on Monday, November 16, 2009 10:41 PM

PaSmith, it is reassuring to see train order signals at the station.  Modelers of train-order-era railroads often overlook this detail.

 

Mark

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 12:02 AM

Another free-lance layout here, with mixed trains running regularly.  The usual power is one of the line's Moguls:

with 4 or 5 freight cars, then a combine carrying the markers, either wood:

...or steel:

The train has operated, at times, with no freight and, on other occasions, doubleheaded, with almost a dozen cars trailing.

Also running occasional as a mixed is "The Bee", the line's doodlebug:

Capable of handling up to eight freight cars (probably more than most prototypes), one or two are more usual, or an additional coach or express car:

Wayne

 

 

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Posted by markpierce on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 1:54 AM

Wondrous scenes, Bow

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Posted by SSW9389 on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 6:41 AM

The last steam operated branch line on the Cotton Belt was the Sherman Branch or “S” Branch. This 52-mile line ran from Commerce, TEXAS to Sherman, TEXAS and was finally abandoned in 1953. The last run was on Saturday September 26, 1953. Part of the charm of this line were the last operational steam locomotives and the Cotton Belt long cabooses such as #2301 that was used to provide the accommodation. Very few passengers used this mixed train service. Cotton Belt ran a daily mixed train to and from Sherman. The #217 was the northbound schedule and the #218 was the southbound schedule.  Notable Cotton Belt steam locomotives on the Sherman run in the early 1950s were  F1 Ten Wheeler #254, the last Cotton Belt Ten Wheeler, G1 Consolidation #502 and G2 Consolidation #517. The two consolidations proved to be the very last active Cotton Belt steam. The consolidation’s longevity can be attributed to the light rail of the Sherman Branch.

 The Sherman mixed provided service to Commerce where it connected with the T&NO, Fairlie, Wolfe City where it crossed the Gulf Colorado and Santa Fe, Bailey, Brickyard.

Randolph , Whiteright where it crossed the MKT and Tower 101 was located, Kentuckytown, Tom Bean, Luella, Lynn Station, Culton, and Sherman where the line connected with the MKT, SLSF, and T&NO.

 

 

C. W. Standefer photo of SSW #517 taken on September 24, 1953. Standefer was engineer on the second to last #218 returning to Commerce on Friday September 25, 1953. This was Standefer’s very last steam run. Cotton Belt continued to serve Sherman over T&NO trackage rights starting on Monday September 28, 1953.  

 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
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Posted by markpierce on Sunday, November 29, 2009 6:58 PM

markpierce

Yeah, I drove along it some eight or ten years ago and the track (rail and ties) had been pulled.  The former Mina yard was a bare expanse.  The freight depot was still standing, barely.

Finally found my photo of the Mina freight house.  I'd be surprised if it is still standing.

 

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Posted by twhite on Sunday, November 29, 2009 7:20 PM

markpierce

markpierce

Yeah, I drove along it some eight or ten years ago and the track (rail and ties) had been pulled.  The former Mina yard was a bare expanse.  The freight depot was still standing, barely.

Finally found my photo of the Mina freight house.  I'd be surprised if it is still standing.

 

Mark: 

Almost worth scheduling a trip over there to find out.  I remember when I used to drive through Mina, that there was always some activity there in the yard.   That was one FASCINATING SP branch line.

Tom

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